Thursday, May 2, 2019

Review: We Hope for Better Things by Erin Bartels

When Detroit Free Press reporter Elizabeth Balsam meets James Rich, his strange request--that she look up a relative she didn't know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos--seems like it isn't worth her time.

But when she loses her job after a botched investigation, she suddenly finds herself with nothing but time. At her great-aunt's 150-year-old farmhouse, Elizabeth uncovers a series of mysterious items, locked doors, and hidden graves. As she searches for answers to the riddles around her, the remarkable stories of two women who lived in this very house emerge as testaments to love, resilience, and courage in the face of war, racism, and misunderstanding. And as Elizabeth soon discovers, the past is never as past as we might like to think.

 Debut novelist Erin Bartels takes readers on an emotional journey through time--from the volatile streets of 1960s Detroit to the Underground Railroad during the Civil War--to uncover the past, confront the seeds of hatred, and discover where love goes to hide.

Paperback, 400 pages
 Published January 1st,2019
by Fleming H. Revell Company

With 3 timelines and pov’s We Hope for Better Things is a solid debut that kept me captivated.

I can honestly say I haven’t read any HF from around the Detroit area. From the Civil War to the 1960s and present day this is a story of racism, family drama, intrigue with mysterious elements. All catering around an old house with its many secrets and scars. As usual, the past storyline interested me the most. With its focus mainly during the aftermath of the Civil War as freed slaves adjust to the changes.

Reading the ‘60 was interesting, learning of the racial unrest and riots was a real eye-opener.

With the present-day arc focusing on the unveiling and I enjoyed that part, connecting the dots and trying to unravel mysteries before they were revealed.  This is a book about resilient women who have been through so much and show what it takes to survive.

This is the author’s debut, can’t wait to see what’s next for her.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc." 

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